Yuvraj Singh belonged to an era of Indian cricket which saw the most extreme transformation.
He was there when Ganguly waved his shirt from the Lord’s balcony, he was there during the heartbreak of the 2003 World Cup and he was there when Dhoni hit the final 6 in 2011, bringing cricket’s most prestigious trophy home after 28 years.
By his own admission, his career was a ‘roller-coaster’ ride but Yuvraj faced the ups and downs with unmatched vigour, intensity, and commitment.
He always fought for the team to the best of his abilities, making him similar to a friend you’d always want by your side. Here are some other reasons that prove the same.
1. Yuvraj redefined selflessness.
Playing the 2011 World Cup while braving cancer, there were times he wouldn’t be able to breathe, would cough incessantly and bleed from the nose.
Still, he kept going. He fought adversities with unimaginable courage, which makes for stories that will bring tears to our eyes even decades from now.
2. He didn’t like being poked. He would take on anyone for the sake of the team – and mostly, ended up succeeding.
Case in point – his six 6s against England in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Andrew Flintoff made the huge mistake of sledging him before Stuart Broad’s over and an angry Yuvraj went full ballistic.
Team India, just like anyone else, needs someone who can stand up for it and Yuvraj did not disappoint that day.
These six sixes by Yuvraj are a timeless classic. pic.twitter.com/k26WCJ061U— Adi. (@aadee__) May 26, 2020
3. He wasn’t mindlessly aggressive, though. In moments of need, he could turn up as the most dependable member of the team.
Natwest Final, 2002, for instance. With Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal, England was pretty much sorted. They thought the match was theirs. Thought, being the operative word.
Yuvraj and Kaif played arguably the most memorable ODI innings of their careers to win us the match and many people regretted switching off the TV too early that day.
4. He knew how to give it back to someone who challenged him, and chose the best moment to do so.
During the semi-final of the 2007 World Cup, Australia’s Brad Hogg thought it would be a good idea to put Yuvraj under pressure by reminding him of the six 6s he had hit. “Ho ho, let’s see you hit six sixes today big Yuvi,” Hogg said to Yuvraj.
Next thing you know, Yuvraj was hitting shots all across the field and scored a feisty 30-ball-70. India won the match by 15 runs and he was awarded the Man of the Match award.
5. He knows when to step aside and let others take the limelight.
Yuvraj could only play 4 matches for Mumbai Indians in last year’s IPL. This was obviously not ideal, and so, when the team won the trophy, he stood in the corner, allowing his teammates, mostly juniors, to celebrate the victory.
6. He will do anything to help, even if it means going back on his decisions.
Earlier this year, Punjab Cricket Association reached out to Yuvraj and requested him to come out of his retirement to mentor young kids in the state squad.
Yuvraj pondered over it and realised it was something he wanted to do. And just like that, he was back again.
Yuvraj Singh has decided to come out of retirement to play domestic cricket for Punjab 🏏— ICC (@ICC) September 10, 2020
How do you feel about that, 🇮🇳 fans? pic.twitter.com/TmLuIJFvZz
7. He never gives up on what he loves.
In 2012, after months of struggling against a life-threatening disease, Yuvraj Singh returned to cricket. It was a T20I match against New Zealand in Chennai and Yuvraj played with tears in his eyes.
India, unfortunately, lost the match by 1 run but that didn’t make Yuvraj any less of a hero. He walked into the stadium to a standing ovation and scored 34 runs off 26 balls.
8. He is fun when he needs to be.
So many struggles, so many challenges but none of them could kill Yuvraj’s spirit. He has always been known as the prankster in the team and in one particular instance, he got a fake newspaper page printed with controversial news on the then captain Sourav Ganguly.
Forgetting that it was the April Fool’s day, Dada believed what he saw and said that he’d quit captaincy if anyone can prove he actually said things mentioned in the report.
Dravid eventually told him that it was a joke and Ganguly is said to have run after Yuvraj with a bat in his hand.